Fraser Valley Thunderbirds impress at Mac’s Midget AAA Tournament

The local B.C. Major Midget Hockey League team battled to the quarter-finals before bowing out.

Chilliwack’s Ethan Bowen led his Fraser Valley Thunderbirds to a fifth place finish at the prestigious Mac’s Midget AAA Tournament.

The annual event featuring a stacked 25 team field ran Dec. 26 to Jan. 1 in Calgary.

Bowen’s Thunderbirds, one of the top teams in B.C. Hockey’s Major Midget Hockey League, were placed in pool A with the St. Albert Raiders, Tisdale Trojans, Calgary Royals and Hungarian National U-18s.

The T-Birds took down the Hungarians by a 7-2 count in their round-robin opener, played on Boxing Day.

Bowen collected one goal and one assist. Defenceman Jackson Mainse, a Chilliwackian, sniped two goals and forward Zach Feaver, also from Chilliwack, added an assist.

Mission’s Will Dow-Kenny was the only Fraser Valley skater to hit the scoresheet in the team’s second round-robin game, scoring in a 5-1 loss to St. Albert Dec. 28.

The Thunderbirds bounced back nicely less than 24 hours later, dumping the Calgary Royals 5-3 behind three points (one goal, two helpers) from Bowen. Blueliner Travis Halladay, from Chilliwack, scored the game-winning goal on a third period power play.

The Thunderbirds wrapped up the round-robin stage Dec. 30 with a 5-3 win over the Tisdale Trojans, with Bowen and Mainse recording two points apiece (one goal, one assist). Halladay added a helper.

The Thunderbirds moved into the playoff round, matching up against the eventual tournament champions, the Regina Pat Canadians, in a quarter-final. Abbotsford natives Jake Mulder and Dylan Stoltz scored Fraser Valley goals, with Mainse collecting an assist, but it wasn’t enough as the T-Birds fell 3-2.

The Pats went on to capture the crown with a 2-1 semi-final win over the New York Junior Islanders followed by a 4-0 win over the Red Deer Optimist Chiefs.

Fraser Valley netminder Dawson Pelletier (Hope) was named a first-team tournament all-star.

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